With so much figurative imagery it becomes increasingly difficult to identify a single, all encompassing representation of any individual existing or fictional. Each of the artists in Scratch the Surface employ various methods to accommodate the way we visually and culturally perceive the figure in art.
Presenting the work of seven contemporary artists investigating portraiture, Scratch the Surface includes Archibald prize winner Cherry Hood with her anonymous subjects, along with Jonathan Nicholls, Marie Hagerty, and Sadie Chandler. Each utilises the insistent proliferation of imagery in contemporary society to inform their subjects making them amalgamations of many different faces and figures.
Two artists, in Scratch the Surface work with known subjects. Kate Murphy and Celeste Chandler use their intimate connections with a subject to compellingly convey, a marked connection with a subject. Derek O'Connor's installation of wax heads and photographs shifts between these viewpoints, providing an uneasy alliance between anonymity and specificity in portraiture.